The Natural Health Service

The Natural Health Service


In 2016, Isabel Hardman's mind, in her own words, 'stopped working' as she fell prey to severe depression and anxiety. She took time off on long-term sick leave and despite several relapses has returned to work with a much improved ability to cope. She has since become one of the UK's most prominent public voices on mental health.

She credits her better health to her passion for exercise, nature and the great outdoors - from horse-riding and botany to cold-water swimming and running. In The Natural Health Service, she draws on her own personal experience, interviews with mental illness sufferers and psychologists, and the latest research to examine what role wildlife and exercise can play in helping anyone cope with mental illness. Straight-talking, thoroughly-researched, and compassionate, this important and often funny book will fascinate anyone touched by a mental health condition, whether themselves or through the experiences of a loved-one.

Our Review

The Natural Health Service: What the Great Outdoors Can Do For Your Mind was a thoroughly researched and interesting read.

“No one could have predicted the circumstances in which this book was first published. It was supposed to appear on bookshop shelves just as the weather was improving and spring leaves opening. It would be easy for people to put into practice the lessons about getting outdoors regularly to help their mental health needs.

But instead, the bookshops were closed, and people were told by the government and the police to stay at home to stop the spread of coronavirus. And yet, so many of our experiences in 2020 underlined the central arguments of this book.”

She talks about how the politicians are good at saying the right words when it comes to action on mental health but are not as quick at following it up.

She discusses the many studies into the effect of the outdoors on improving our mental health as well as her own battles with mental health.

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 3.5/5

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